Thought Experiments are over for 2019. A new and exciting set of plays will be on stage Fall 2020.

Thought Experiments on the Question of Being Human

Whether we think of an AI as a smart machine or as a tool for making us smarter, we are encountering them in more and more of our daily lives. They will soon be ubiquitous – and mundane – so woven into our daily experience that we take them for granted.

But what does it mean for a machine to “understand?” To understand what we mean? Or what we want?

And what do we become in a world where many of the ordinary things around us exhibit such understanding?

Thought Experiments on the Question of Being Human is a festival of four original plays that examines what it means to be human in light of rapidly changing technology. 

This year we are thrilled to be collaborating with the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence to explore these questions and more as we return to Pacific Science Center on September 27, 28 and 29. 

Four researchers from AI2 have been paired with playwrights and their conversations will lead to four new short plays exploring the human consequences of living with the kinds of artificially intelligent systems you might not have thought of.

This year’s plays!

“Green Thumbs” by Maggie Lee (with Dustin Schwenk). Directed by David Gassner.

“ODIA” by K Brian Neel (with Matthew Peters). Directed by Meghan Arnette.

“ARTificial” by Andrew Lee Creech (with Michael Schmitz). Directed by Jose’ Amador.

“Meow Mix” by Bret Fetzer and Juliet Pruzan (with Carissa Schoenick). Directed by Rachel Katz Carey.

Staged readings of the plays will be presented in the PACCAR Theater on Friday, September 27 and Saturday, September 28 at 7:30 pm and also inside the exhibit space of Pacific Science Center on Sunday afternoon, September 29.

As always, each performance will be followed by an audience conversation kicked off by one of the four scientists.

Stay tuned for more details as this year’s project moves along.